In recent years the impact of social media has been unprecedented. Long gone are the days when companies and businesses merely placed an advert in the local paper and hoped for the best. Today’s social media is bigger and better than ever before – and let’s be honest, there’s still a lot more to come!
What are the key benefits of social media engagement with marketing tactics?
The benefits of social media to businesses are numerous but here’s a quick snapshot of how it all works:
- Unlike earlier, more traditional marketing (such as TV adverts, leaflets and the like), social media enables businesses to connect with both new and existing customers completely free of charge. Whilst some social media outlets offer ‘sponsored’ opportunities (to keep a business in the public domain), smaller businesses are still able to engage with people across the globe without having to spend a single penny. In turn, this means that businesses can cast aside their marketing budget and spend it elsewhere within the business, thus encouraging continued growth. Everyone’s a winner.
- Some social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram provide businesses with an easy opportunity to showcase their brand and build a professional online image which is then available to view 24/7, wherever the target audience might happen to be across the globe.
- By enabling customers to share their insights online, businesses are able to gain a better understanding of what their customers want and can turn feedback into positive responses, simply and quickly (and again, at very little – if any – cost).
- Social media also enables businesses to respond to any customer queries or concerns almost immediately. In fact, most businesses can now be contacted via their Facebook page so any private messages can be seen, read and dealt with straight away. This is particularly useful, of course, for those delivering goods since customers are more likely to receive a response by return – and not via ‘snail mail’!
- By engaging with customers online, businesses are able to monitor current trends and requirements, thus ensuring they’re ahead of the game and above all else, ahead of their competitors.
- Increased exposure via social media channels also helps further traffic to be driven into the business and thus ‘potential’ customers soon become ‘actual’ customers.
- Sites such as Facebook enable photos and videos to be uploaded (or even sent via private message should a customer have a specific enquiry). Again, this can be achieved within seconds and certainly enhances customer service engagement.
- In addition to photos and videos, businesses can also upload live competitions and promotions to help promote their brand.
Everyone’s doing it! – Here’s how!
In order to promote online presence, businesses often work to a very simple 5 step marketing plan. Here it is:
- They clearly define their business goals. This means that they think carefully about what they want to achieve, who they want to attract interest from and how they want their business to look to the outside world. Of course, this is no mean feat but once defined, it’s all systems go!
- Once firm goals have been set into place, businesses use analytics and insights in order to determine their audience demographics, preferences and activities. This is a crucial part of the marketing process and of course, needs to be quite specific.
- The middle part of the process is to ensure that the right message reaches the right people i.e. what media type will be used (text, images, video etc.) and to what target audience? Of course, the target audience will very much determine the media type as it has to be the perfect fit to maximise the potential return.
- Once released, messages have to boost SEO (search engine optimisation) and link to relevant landing pages to drive traffic through. Companies like Probella, which is a seo company based in Miami, can help to achieve that.
- Last (but certainly by no means least), social media should then be used as a listening tool. Listen, respond and repeat (bearing in mind that ‘listen’ is also an anagram of ‘silent’ – its advice well worth knowing!)
What’s SEO all about?
SEO is all about the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic – not to mention exposure to the business itself of course. This can easily be achieved through organic search engine results but to be successful, it’s all about understanding what people are searching for online. What products or services are they after? What type of answers do they need? Once a business knows the answers to these questions then it’ll quickly enable them to connect with ‘potential’ customers and turn them into ‘actual’ customers, as we’ve already explored earlier.
Put simply then, SEO is all about combining social media with marketing tactics and together, their potential should never be undermined. It’s simple, but it’s clever – and the opportunities are absolutely boundless.